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Such A Baby Boy

Such A Baby Boy

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Hope by Jordan Rakei

It’s 4:58am and I just finished reading what most guys would consider that dreaded “essay” text from someone I actually care about.

In that message, I referred to a thought that I shared last week.

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I rolled around for a bit and then visited this document. I have treated it as a living document, occasionally returning to add and remove things as I have processed my thoughts.

Sometimes you recognize that sharing your thoughts verbally can take value away from what you’re trying to communicate. So I write.

This is a personal documentation of thoughts and feelings unique to me and might be relatable to some but it is never written as an absolute.

I was accused of being selfish for not opening myself to a “relationship”, and I obviously said “What The Heck Man”

Enter Game Changers

Savagery is on another level now.

There was once a time. A time when if a relationship failed or was broken, everyone would automatically default to it being the man’s fault.

Today, there are mercenaries that move around taking anything within their sights.

Women.

Daughters of Jezebel are now regulars in various households.

Behind those inviting smiles and soothing eyes, you will now find deadly “secarios”.

I was out of the country having a conversation with a friend of mine.

In case you were wondering, we were talking about women and I mentioned the wave of recent engagements between the people that I knew.

I was going down the list when I mentioned a name that changed the course of the entire conversation.

The girl in question had just been proposed to by a guy I know very well. His bride to be?

Well she was the star of the new show,

“How To Get Away With Cheating on Your Fiancé”.

Apparently, the girl and my friend have been “involved” with each other for a few years. Occasionally meeting up and “working out” together whenever she was in town.

Get this, her relationship was 2years old. Her engagement was in October.

This conversation between my friend and I took place in December. Their last “workout” you ask?

Well that happened two weeks after the conversation I’m telling you about.

Some people don’t even fear God sha.

Now I know as a woman or even as a man, you’re probably sitting there and saying these exact words

“Not everyone is like that”

On one hand, I agree.

But I also disagree.

I have always said that not everyone is “bad” but I am a strong believer that if you alter the situation, you can influence people into doing “very very bad things”.

Trust seems to be a lost concept to a lot of people.

And trust should be one of the cornerstones a relationship should be built upon.

Family ties

Everyone has those uncles. The “overly strict” one that thinks he is your father.

The “pervy” one that asks you to hook him up with your friends.

This uncle probably has a kid or two out of wedlock and is known as the womanizer of the family.

The “charmer”. He is the one your mom loves dearly and wishes your dad could be more like but she’ll never admit.

Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I have and had uncles like all those I listed.

A fusion of all those personality types.

The older I’ve gotten, I have become more aware of the influence of family on the man I am.

So carefully and closely examined all the men in my family. Dad’s side and mom’s also.

None of the men on both sides were married only once.

And some even had kids out of wedlock.

No judgments passed on any of them but it struck me.

I started to think “what if, as a family we have a hold that needs to be broken”

This contributes to my panic. Even my father was unable to fight the bug.

So what makes me different?

Before you jump in and start calling that a cheap excuse, it’s only an excuse now but you if were the woman I was  divorcing.

So I actively pray about it and my steps are carefully selected.

I do not want to make the mistakes my fathers made. I want it to be my wife and I all the way.

So I need a woman who understands that my family is my reality and it is imperative that I change the narrative.

I will not fall. And I need someone willing to stand with me as I challenge God to make sure I am not just one Ikenne/Ofada man with a broken relationship.

So far, I’ve touched on two things unique to me but also somewhat detached from what you can argue to be my reality. So let’s get a bit more serious.

Christmas Night

You remember when you were still living at home.

Probably with a curfew from your parents and them annoyingly micromanaging your life and warning you of adult hood.

But you couldn’t wait till you got to adult hood. Just so you could get away from them.

Remember that?

Remember how you now hate paying bills and actually almost have the best time when you go back to visit said parents?

Remember that?

Ever wanted something so bad, you nagged your loved ones to get it for you. You truly want it. Begging, negotiating, praying or even as far as writing God or Santa a letter pleading your case.

Then you wake up on Christmas morning and there it is!

That thing you have wanted for so long!!!!

In your hands!

Hell yeah!

As you open it, you realize that it’s not that great. It’s too small, too big, not flashy enough, not what you wished you rolled your one time offer from your parents on.

It’s just not it!

Remember that?

Well me neither, what was Christmas in house?

Abeg jare.

The point I want to convey in all that though is that you can sometimes want something so much that you lose the excitement for it when it gets into your hands.

EVERYONE and their choir leader wants a relationship but not everyone needs one.

Today, you find 21yr olds tweeting about relationships while 26yr olds are retweeting and hoping for the same.

The 30yr old is knowledgeably watching and hoping.

But for most people, the relationship happens and fails quickly because it is what they “want” and not what they need.

I spoke in detail a few weeks ago about “Needs vs. Wants vs. Availability”. Check it out.

My point is this, it is such a craze now.

Everyone wants one. Like an iPhone and so you don’t feel special in having yours.

There is so much more that needs to go into the human capital side of things.

Strengths, dreams and qualities that need to be built and worked on.

Like build yourself to be the best version of you before you have to become a builder of someone else.

Many people today run into relationships to hide the work they need to do.

Stay within you and grow within yourself.

You cannot build a sky scrapper from the top.

And the elevator that makes the ride from top to bottom, touching all floors of the building, is often put in last.

I truly wish that people would try to negate the public influence and perception while focusing on themselves.

The relationship will eventually come unless you’re a horrible person but even those ones get relationships, so just chill.

And make sure you’re ready when it comes around.

Game Time

In the game of soccer, you can be watching a 33yr old heading towards his decline as a professional athlete and on the same pitch, a 19yr old making his debut.

Even though the 19yr old has speed and strength, you will continue to hear the commentator refer to this thing called experience when discussing the 33yr old.

You cannot put a physical value on experience.

Experience is the best teacher they say but I don’t entirely agree. Sometimes being close enough to someone else’s experience is the best learning opportunity.

Some people have been doing this relationship thing since they were 16. Ten plus years in the dating game and everything is still not figured out.

And yes, things get better along the way but how are your experiences making you a better partner?

Are you just going through the motions and not immersing yourself in the process? Such that your body may be weak but your mind/heart is seasoned and well aware of what it needs?

“Bad Cake Day”

I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my decisions.

I thank God that I am able to sit back and own my stuff but also hold myself accountable.

I am often told that I beat myself up way more than I need to but it’s just the way I am.

My last relationship left a sour taste in my mouth.

I read something about karma the other day and I couldn’t help but feel like the “punishment” that was my last relationship, was karma visiting me.

It was here to collect on all my mistakes with interest and it cleaned me out.

I once heard that a guy can break ten hearts and continue gliding through life but the moment his heart is broken once by one he loves, he’s lost to the world.

That may be me.

I am sure I was served a slice of cake that I have force-fed someone before and it fucked me up. Only difference now is this, I’m not out to collect hearts, I just don’t want to be invited to that table anymore.

Somehow that perspective makes me a horrible person of some sorts.

I have broken a heart or two and maybe my last relationship was “payback” but it certainly taught me that a lot of work needed to go into me.

I needed to invest so much more into my human capital before trying to cash out on the ultimate relationship with someone.

Selfish. Coward. Fearful.
Those are some of the terms that have been used to address me in light of my decision to tread lightly.

“I’m not your ex” is the classic line I get.

Yes, they are often right. But here is how I rationalize it.

If a spider bites you, do you run from all spiders from then on?

Exactly.

“The Man, The Relationship”

“It doesn’t have to be perfect”

“have you ever considered that you’re perfect for me”

“all I need is you and I working at it and I’m fine with that”

I often find that some women have this belief that as long as you’re with them, you automatically alleviate some of the personal problems/issues you had before.

My working on myself and growing with you are not parallel with each other.

It is believed that your holding out either signals a lack of ambition with regards to being with her or just avoidance.

But I have come to a place where I hold true to my values and I will not be swayed by someone’s expectations of me.

I am the only one that knows when I am punching at 50% and that may be appealing to you but I know there is so much more to me.

And I want to do what it takes to unlock the rest of who I can be. So you as a woman, may be comfortable with my 50 but I am not comfortable giving just that.

I need to be the best of me.

And no I don’t think the best of me comes from being with someone. Relationships are hard work.

Not horrible but taxing and if you are not at the top of your game, you will lose out.

And then who gets hurt?

Take Volkswagen for example.

The put an “average” product out in the market and people swarmed it. Down the road, a recall had to be made costing the company billions and the CEO his job.

The product was good enough but it wasn’t the best it could be.

Most women today, in my opinion, do not focus on the man.

The idea of the man is good enough for them. As long as he fits the bill for what I need, I’m okay.

Well the issue with that love is that people evolve and my 50% that was more than good enough for you in year one, may not be good enough in year 3 and then what?

I Need God, I Want You

 I am a firm believer.

Let me stop there.

Okay one step further. I am a firm believer that God should be present in all your endeavors.

Now I know I fall short and sometimes blatantly ignore his teachings and warnings but I know that this love thing will not be possible if he’s not involved in it.

Learning about him and how he wants us to love influences my day to day.

Like loving someone unconditionally, understanding patience, forgiveness and so on…

The biggest truth though is this, everyone should have a man deeply rooted in his core values, enough that if the wind of change rages with life’s struggles, his foot will not be moved.

A man that is God fearing but also has a stronger relationship with God than the one he has or is building with you.

Many want the man but they should be seeking a man who seeks the “other man”.

Find a man that knows God.

Not knows about him but knows him.

This is the part that I think many falter at. The planning phase is now.

Strip everything to the bare bones and build now.

Treat it like a care bear and build your bear.

I’m not saying have crazy expectations like expecting me to have more than the one pack I have right now.

Or be able to bench press you.

I’m saying let his heart be pure.

Let him truly know God. Support that process from a place of love.

Both of you seeking God together only has upsides.

If it is meant to be, he will help solidify it.

And if not, you will both still have an understanding of God and what he wants for both of you.

You know what’s funny, a solid relationship with God soothes most of the worries of all the points I made above.

So you see why this last point is the most essential?

Life will ultimately test you two and a man, who doesn’t know to run to God, will run away and ultimately away from you.
This is where I stop. I’m open a dialogue and feedback.
Let’s chat. Leave a comment below.

It’s now 6:37am.
Time for sleep. There will be reactions to this but for now, let me go and find sleep.
Who knows, I might wake up to another “essay”.

NEW SERIES STARTS ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!! SHARE AND BE HERE!!!

It’s my Words on a Wednesday. #WordsOfWednesday on #WhatTheHeckMan.

The Wordsmith.

COMMENT!!! 

Follow @adewus4real

Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated. 

New Series is out on Saturday

© 2015 #WhatTheHeckMan

Uncategorized

FreeFall 4

FreeFall 4

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The Renaissance by Tomi Thomas

It was 7th grade and a few weeks before my birthday. I had convinced my parents to throw me a party.
This beautiful Monday morning, I was sitting in my seat during class and uncomfortably waiting for the bell to go for lunch.

Something was off.

Something had been off since we came back from Navir’s birthday party. It was my first encounter with Indian food and for whatever reasons it didn’t sit well with my system.

I felt like I needed to go but it felt like nothing was there.

I was so pressed.

There was no way I was going to ask Ms. Daniels again. I had already asked to go twice and I knew she wouldn’t let me go.

My reputation had preceded me before I arrived in her class.

As she rounded up our American History lesson, I did not know that a defining moment in my identity was about to occur.

History in the making as some would say.

My stomach turned and growled, it was unhappy with me and I knew I needed to make it to the bathroom.

You can relate when I say, I continued to glance at the clock and the seconds just wanted to take their fucking time.

At one point, I felt like I was using my mind to control the minute hand on the wall clock.

Everything moved slower.

So I would look away and try to distract myself with the hope that time was moving along.

After what I thought was a few minutes, I looked at the clock.

Only two minutes had gone by!

I cursed under my breath.

Ms Daniels heard me and said

“Ashton, do you have something you would like to add for the benefit of the class?”

I frowned at her as the whole class turned towards me. I replied

“Nope. Nothing at all”

She turned and continued the lecture.

I heard a voice say

“You really have to go huh?”

I turned and it was Sandra.

I shyly smiled and whispered

“Yeah but you know she ain’t letting me out.”

She nodded, smiled back and said

“Hold on we only got a few more…”

The bell went off.

Everyone got up and began making their way out of the classroom. The halls quickly filled with students heading to fill their expecting bellies.

I was looking to drain mine.

I sat still as the room cleared but Sandra didn’t get up either.

It was now Ms Daniels, Sandra and I left in the room. Sandra looked down at me as she stood and said

“You coming?”

I shook my head in the negative.

Her eyes grew wide and she tried to hold back and embarrassed smile.

It had happened.

All over my clothes and my seat.

I was not about to walk into the halls with that entire thing going on.

What Sandra did next would birth the friendship that we have now had for years.

She walked to the door, peeped into the hallway to see the traffic of students.

She returned and handed me her sweater and told me to wrap it around my waist.

I did and followed her out of the room.

Clean break into the bathroom; success!

About 10 minutes later, I heard a knock outside the bathroom stall.

It was Sandra in the boys bathroom.

Over the stall, she threw me a pair of shorts and a shirt from the gym class.

I don’t know how she got it but boy was I glad she did.

It took me about twenty minutes but I cleaned up and headed back to class.

I had missed lunch.

As I walked into the room, I noticed that my seat was not in my spot.

With a curious look on my face, I quickly scanned the room and noticed my seat in the back of the classroom, far away from anyone.

As I took a few more steps into the room, it dawned on me that I left marks on the seat.

Some kids noticed me and began covering their noses.

Then the whole class took notice and burst out in a collective series of laughter.

Sandra was the only one that didn’t laugh.

Even Ms Daniel’s couldn’t help herself and I couldn’t even blame her. If I was in the position, I probably would have done the same thing.

I stood there in shock. I thought I had made a clean break but I guess not.

I would become the laughing stock of the class for months and you know that 13th birthday party?

Yeah it happened but only a handful of people showed up.

My reputation and name had taken a hit but this one was easy to come back from over time.

But it sucked.

Nowhere near where my life currently was though.

…..

I wanted to scream.

I wanted to punch Wyatt and to be completely honest, I wanted to strangle Stephanie.

“You knew the whole fucking time?”

I yelled at Stephanie.

“You knew why I was slaving to fucking call you?

And you didn’t answer you piece of shit”

Everyone in the small waiting room glued his or her eyeballs at me.

I was so angry.

“Ash calm down.

You’re causing a scene”

Stephanie said to me as she motioned that I keep my voice down.

I think that only fueled me even more.

It’s annoyed me the more.

Who the hell did she think she was?

Thinking back to it now, I think it was all the frustration that had come from worrying about Raquel’s situation that caused me to go off.

I just spewed all my anger out.

“Causing a fucking scene?
I have been carrying this heaviness in my heart trying to warn you about what you may or may not have and you’ve been treating me like a fool.

Fuck you and this fucking scene!”

Wyatt stepped in front of her and said

“Can we talk about this in private?”

I scanned him from top to bottom and ignored what he said.

I turned around to look at Raquel who had her hand on my shoulder.

She was rubbing it in a circular motion and whispering that I calm down. I could feel myself heaving and breathing really hard.

The four of us walked out of the waiting room and into the hallway.
We reached the end of the hallway and Stephanie spoke first

“Ash, I didn’t answer your call because I felt guilty. I thought you wanted to get back together and I was guilty about how I left.

And Wyatt and I started getting serious.

I’ve been swamped with work and all… I am sorry I was avoiding you and I’m even more sorry that it was something this significant and I couldn’t be there for you.

I’m truly sorry”

I had been angry for so long that I didn’t’ appreciate the apology in the moment.

But the words hit my ears and then my heart.

I eased up a bit.

My shoulders dropped a bit. The feeling of anger began to fade as I looked at Raquel and back to Stephanie.

I said

“It’s whatever now.

I just wanted to make sure you knew your status and you were being safe.

That’s it. I was trying to get you back or anything else.

I was genuinely worried that you may have gotten something from me…”

“Ash, I’m fine. I got checked out less than a month ago when I went for my annual checkup and I’m clean.

But I truly appreciate you worrying about me… It’s comforting”

I was relieved in a way.

I guess on some level I still cared. Besides, us breaking up should never be a death sentence for her.

So I asked what was the obvious question

“So what are you guys doing here?”

The answer was had me speechless.

Wyatt responded and said

“I’m the one that’s positive”

What The Heck Man!

My mouth opened by itself and I just stared.

We all stood there frozen.

The tension in that circle of four of us was palpable. You could touch it.

You could hold it.

But I bet nobody would ever try to experience that again.
It was awkward and real.

What Wyatt said changed a lot.

Stephanie obviously already knew but that frankly blew all our minds.

Thankfully the doctor came with good news to interrupt us.

Raquel was not HIV positive.

We both let out a sigh of relief but the niggling question was there. How did Wyatt and I become the positive ones?

…..

Through the process, there have been dark days, tolerable days and “okay” days but never hopeful days.

The only friend that I felt understood my situation was Sandra.

So she was the only friend I had that knew what I was going through.

During our freshman year of college, Sandra came out to her parents as “bisexual”.

She was immediately ostracized and pushed out.

Her parents ridiculed her and suddenly, she was the laugh of their community and extended family.

But she fought through and maintained her identity while learning to love herself alone.

Sandra got it.

Raquel? Not so much but she was trying.

I decided to give her space after the test ordeal, so she could decide what she wanted going forward.

I came over to Sandra’s that evening and I sat on the kitchen counter sipping from a glass of wine as she prepared dinner

“the shock on all our faces was evident.

Like!

I was blown away”

I said as I took another sip from my glass

“Like Steph is clean and Wyatt is the one positive.

So I naturally started thinking, how did I get it?

Who have I been with that he has too?

Because I for sure have not been with him. No offense to the gay community.”

She smiled as she slid the lasagna tray into the oven and said

“None taken”

I continued

“Like, I was stumped because it’s just weird you know.

And Steph being clean?
How?!

Like I could have sworn I got it from her. She’s the only one I went raw with.

Man, I’m just mind blow.

I’m just trying to make sense of it. And so far, I’m at a loss. “

I paused as Sandra turned and said

“Ash, come here. I got something to tell you.”

She motioned at me as I got down from the counter and followed her into the living room.

I sat on the couch and placed my glass on the coffee table.

I straightened up and looked at Sandra

She seemed uncomfortable but still present.

I noticed her swallow hard and then she said

“Ash, you and I have been friends for many years. And I love you dearly.
You have always been a rock for me.
I want to thank you for always sharing with me but I think it’s time, I tell you something’s about me”

A look of seriousness came across my face as she continued

“You have been with me through some of my toughest times and been a rock for me.

So I am sorry for coming out late with this.
I hope this does not affect our relationship. Because the last thing I would ever want is for us to change how we are or for me to lose you entirely.
But Ash, I am HIV positive..”

No matter how hard you try. You cannot imagine how my face looked.

Shock.

“And I gave it to Wyatt… but this was before I knew my status”

I couldn’t put the words together?

Sandra?

One of my best friends

How had she been carrying it this long and in treatment and I didn’t know?

I truly felt like a failure.
But if you were wondering Sandra and I hadn’t been having sex.

We had always been really good friends but nothing more.

When Stephanie and I broke up, we got closer and had sex a few times.

But then realized that we would be better off as friends.

I was suddenly covered in anger.

“How could you have known and not told me?

Even after I told you about the girl carrying a baby for me.

You are wicked, Sandra”

I got up as she began to cry and I was crying too.

It had come from the unexpected place.

The last place I would have looked.

I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

“You and Wyatt?

Like when?

Oh my fucking gosh. And you weren’t going to say anything after all the times I have brought up his name and said I hate him?

Wow”

I got up and along with my heavy eyeballs. I walked out of the door.

I couldn’t believe it.

I had gone to Sandra for everything.

Hope, security, companionship and more hope.

Dumping my heart out to her, all my worries and even my pains. Yet she knew this whole time.

She knew every step before I even knew.

I was broken.

……

Seclusion. Depression.

Pain.

I completely detached from the whole world.

The drama that occurred from my fallout with Sandra really got to me.

I was emotionally drained and tired.

I didn’t know whom to trust anymore.

I continued to keep to myself., just going to work and coming home.

No friends.

The friend you trusted turning out to the creator of your problems.

Weeks began to pass by and then they turned into months.

My emotional life was dead.

Social life was non-existent and I was losing connections with people.

One day, I heard a knock on the door.

I looked through the peep hole and it was Raquel.

She smiled as I let her in.

She said

“Ash, your place is a mess.”

I picked up clothes and I apologized

“I’m sorry. I haven’t had anyone over in a while”

She ignored what I said as she tiptoed through the living room.

Stopping behind me, she placed her hand on my bended back and I turned.

She moved her hand to my face and said

“Ash, are you okay?”

I looked down to the floor.

I wanted to cry

She then said again

“Ash?!”

I looked up at her and said

“I’m okay. Hanging in there.”

She replied

“This is hard and I cannot imagine how you’re feeling but I need you to pull it together.

It is 2015 and being HIV positive is not a death sentence.

I know there are unique things you have to experience but we will be here to go through it together”

I looked at her for more of an explanation. She smiled and said

“Yes, we.”

She smiled wider as she said

“I just came from the doctor and the baby and I are doing fine and perfectly healthy.

You and I have already made one healthy kid. And he or she is going to need their father. We don’t need any more but we have work to do.

Work for and on us.

But what I am trying to say here is, I want to be with you if you want me.”

I nodded as my eyes began to swell. She rubbed my face and hugged me.

Just like that, I felt a piece of me being put back together.

She let go and walked into the kitchen as she said

“Have you eaten?

Let me make you something.”

She opened the refrigerator and it was empty.

She flashed a questioning look at me and suddenly we both broke out in laughter.

She told me to head into the shower and she was taking me out to eat.

I looked at her for a few seconds with a big smile on my face.

She said

“Go!

Before I have to come and shower you”

I laughed and headed into the bedroom.

It was going to be a long road to us being okay and functioning properly but I had her with me.

With her, I wasn’t alone.

I reached my beside and my phone lit up.

It was Linda.

Slowly, I grabbed my phone and hit the “ignore” button.

My FreeFall had just been halted.
I wasn’t about to knowingly jump off another cliff into the unknown.

Getting to be with a supportive woman in Raquel meant the world.

I knew my status; I was positive but going back into the hole that got me here?

Negative.

I walked back into the living room and Raquel was looking at her phone.

I stood and smiled there like someone in love for the first time.

She looked at me and said

“What?”

I said

“Thank you”

“For what?”

She asked with a smile on her face

I walked up to her and said

“For Hope”

The End

Stigma can be overwhelming.

It is a social construct but powers that affect the emotional, physical and social aspects of people’s lives.

Being HIV positive is certainly not a death sentence in 2015 but there are many things that come from it.

The way people perceive you, interactions with you and some limitations once may have.

I highlighted Raquel’s initial reaction to Ash’s news.

Fear.

Most people would act the same.

It can be scary but we can still be present for those who need us.

It is not just HIV. Skin cancer, mental health issues, emotional and spiritual problems; they all need that support system.

FreeFall highlights some of the issues that come post heartbreak.

The need to fill a void.

Sometimes the void is filled with things that we know are unhealthy for us in the long run but temporarily satisfies needs.

For Ash that was sharing his body for some, it is their safety, their heart, their dreams.

A relationship should not define you.

You should not lose yourself because of a failed relationship or situation.

Sometimes we fall.

It can be healthy and humbling to be dropped from a place of comfort or pride.

Back down to earth

The fall can be important to your growth but the people that catch you can be just as important as falling.

Always have a safety net of people you can really trust and ensure that they can hold you up.

You never want to fall and expect to be helped up by someone who is already broken, it won’t work.

Ultimately, there is a lot in the FreeFall series.

Be kind to people. Do not judge them because of their situations.
I hope you enjoyed the FreeFall series.

Please FIND OUT WHAT YOUR STATUS IS TODAY.

Knowing is always easier than regretting.

Till the next series, it’s been The Wordsmith of the handle for #WhatTheHeckMan

I love you all. LEAVE ME COMMENTS!!!!! SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN SLACKING LATELY. 😂 (Don’t point fingers at me! I’ve apologized 😊😊)

Stay Up!

COMMENT!!! 

Follow @adewus4real

Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated. 

New Series is out on Saturday

© 2015 #WhatTheHeckMan

Uncategorized

FreeFall 3

FreeFall 3

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Memories ft. LV by Meaku

Almost every man can attest to having a pregnancy scare or two in his sexually active life.

I couldn’t say that I wouldn’t have expected one win my erratic behavior of late but I sure wasn’t expecting one with Raquel.

She always had her stuff together. Many times in front of me, she would take her birth control pills. I was always told to never trust someone with nothing to lose but Raquel had her world in her hands, a baby at that time would mean possibly throwing it all away.

I stood there in silence. My mind was raving trying to connect the dots.

A part me even considered taking the popular approach of most men and initially denying that it could be mine. But I knew Raquel and she was one of the “good ones”.

I think from my silence she began to worry. That defensive look covered her face as she said

“Why aren’t you saying anything?”

Her tone sent the message.

What it really sounded like she said was

“You better not be trying to pin this on me. We did this together”

I finally felt my feet return under me as I walked over to the couch and sat next to her. I looked straight at her and said

“I’m not running love. I just thought we took the measures”

I could see her face relax. She exhaled and leaned back a bit.

Then she said

“I know. I’ve taken it everyday for months now.

I don’t know how it happened and you know I’ve only been with you. So that part is sorted but I don’t know either.

I’m scared but it’s yours so I’m also not scared”

I was terrified and you all know why.

I reached my right hand out and held her right hand, covering it with my left and I said

“Raquel, I have something to tell you”

A puzzled look spread across her face.

She sat up and said

“What is love?”

I sighed.

My heart was racing. My palms were sweaty. I felt like I was going to puke if I said the wrong thing.

My eyes searched hers to find if it was okay to speak on.

Swallowing hard, I said…

My phone buzzed.

We both looked at the phone. And then back at each other.

There was a moment there where she wanted me to decide if I was going to reach for the phone or not.

“Tell me Ashton”

she said.

I looked at her and said

“I’m HIV positive”

Her eyes grew big. She looked like she had been shot.

What The Heck Man would not have been enough.

…….

“HIV positive?”

She screamed from the end of the room by the sliding door

I jumped off the couch and stood in the middle of the room, motioning to her to keep her voice down.

“How?!

How did you get it?”

she was hysterically pacing the room and then she stopped.

She stopped.

She looked at me and slowly approached. I will not lie.

I began to panic.

It might be stereotypical of me to say this but a woman in that state was not one that I wanted to mess with at all.

I took a step back and another as she said

“Ash, do I?

Did you give this shit to me?

Did you ASHTON!!!!

Did you fucking give me a death sentence?!

You son of a bitch!”

I didn’t even get a chance to answer. She ran over the couch and slumped in it.

It was such a display of raw emotions that I didn’t even know if and when I should intervene.

I walked over to the seat and sat next to her.

I placed my hand on her lap as I was about to speak. She slapped my hand away and reached for her purse while yelling

“Ashton, don’t fucking touch me!

And don’t you dare fucking call me!

Just leave me the fuck alone….

You have ruined my fucking life. So leave me the fuck alone!”

She darted for the door and seconds later.

She was gone.

The room suddenly felt empty and I just stood there confused.

She was gone but the tension still filled the room.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I just sat on the floor. I didn’t even realize when I had started crying.

…….

For weeks, I couldn’t do anything with myself.

I barely went to work and often came home to cry myself to sleep.

If the disease hadn’t kicked in yet, I was starting to look sick by just not eating.

My beard was growing out and I look unkept.

I was also secluding myself from people.

Raquel had not answered my calls and I was deeply concerned.

But I knew she had every right to.

I couldn’t understand the thing too. I could not tell her where I had gotten it from.

I couldn’t have exposed myself about who I had been with.

I tried to go on with my life as best as I could but I would have been lying if I said that I didn’t thin about it all the time.

Like every free thought went to that.

I was tired.

But I still had to fight.

I decided to give her the space she needed.

I think I needed the space too.

But my days were spent being burrowed up in my apartment. Depression quickly set in and began to consume me.

Everything just seemed like a lost cause. I felt like I since I was physically dying, my will to do anything was going too.

One Saturday afternoon, there was a knock on my door. It was Vic.

He came in and basically forced me out of the house.

“Bro, why have you been hiding from everyone these past few weeks?

I thought you were over the Steph heart break”

he asked as we walked through the Express store in the mall.

I laughed and replied

“Haven’t been running bro. Just been mad busy.

How you been tho?”

Vic looked at me

He smiled and said

“Ash, you know how many years I’ve known you for?

Don’t bullsh*t me.

I know something is up with you.

You know we here to help. Reach out.”

I sipped from my drink and said

“Thanks bro but I’m good”

We walked around as I followed Vic while he tried on things.

I wasn’t even in the mood and nothing looked appealing to me.

We must have been in there for about 15 minutes when my phone rang.

I looked down at it and it was Raquel.

I motioned to Vic as I stepped away to take the call.

I walked out of the store in the huge hallway in the mall.

“Hey Raquel”

She was very direct as she said

“We need to talk. When can you meet?”

I was relieved that she wanted to talk but I was nervous about what the conversation might be about.

I said

“Yes.

I’m at the mall”

She replied

“Okay cool. I’m like 10 minutes from there.

I’ll see you in a bit.

By the Texas Roadhouse”

I ended the call and I walked back into the store as Vic was walking out.

I said

“bro, my bad but I gotta go”

I’m sure he knew it had to do with a girl but we shook hands and I was on my way.

….

I arrived at the location and I waited nervously for Raquel.

I was hypervigilant to everything around me.

The looks on peoples face, the way they walked, how they walked. I was just terrified.

Minutes later I heard

“Hey Ashton”

I looked over to my right and there was Raquel.

I was surprised as I rose and she gave me a hug.

She sat next to me and started

“I apologize for not responding to your attempts to reach me but I needed some time to gather myself and think.

I was truly overwhelmed.

The sad thing is that Ive been so messed up that I haven’t even gone to the hospital yet.

I took the home test Oraquick and it said I was negative but one cannot be totally sure

I have an appointment on Monday and I would like you to come with me”

I looked over to her and said

“Are you sure?”

She held my hand and said

“Yes…

I’m sorry for how I reacted when you told me because I never really expected that but I know you would never knowingly do something like that to me.

So I am here, so that we can both be a support to each other.”

I couldn’t believe it but I was so grateful.

I was thankful for the opportunity to try again.

There was still a huge cloud over my head about her state and that of the baby but for now, I was okay.

And Monday couldn’t come fast enough.

…….

That Sunday night, I considered calling Stephanie again. I was conflicted about telling her but she was the one being distant from me.

I would not have wanted her going along blindly through the world not knowing the state of her health.

Waiting rooms have always been torture.

You can have a 9:30 appointment but still be waiting at 11am for a doctor come and attend to you.

So we waited.

At one point, Raquel looked over to me and squeezed my hand.

Being with her was comforting and in my heart I begged God to give us the verdict we came for.

It was a bit after 11am when the doors towards the back office opened up.

Out came a doctor, my doctor.

There was surprise on my face as he said

“Mr Savet,

how are you?”

I forced a smile as I rose to shake his hand.

I sheepishly asked

“What are you doing here?”

He smiled and said

“I consult here on some Mondays for the local clinic. Some of my clients from around the area come here.”

I nodded as we finished up the pleasantries.

I returned to my seat and explained to Raquel that when I found out I was HIV positive, he was the doctor that helped me out.

He talked me through the treatment options and tried very hard to explain to me that it wasn’t the end of the world.

We went back to waiting and the tensions in the room were getting to me.

Imagine waiting in a HIV clinic for hours to find out if the woman that is pregnant for you is positive.

Nerve wrecking.

I can’t remember what we were chatting about but suddenly the door that led to the back where the doctor’s offices were, blew open again and the sight I saw left me in shock.

It was Stephanie and closely followed behind her; Wyatt.

She saw me and froze.

My mouth ajar.

Even I couldn’t say WhatTheHeckMan

The End

LADIES and GENTLEMEN, I have been in the worst funk for the last few weeks. But I think I’m back!
For those of you that missed me, my return means new material and I’m ready to get to creating again.
I apologize for my absence but I hope you enjoyed FreeFall 3 and you will share before the posting of FreeFall 4 next Saturday!

Thank you for those that checked in and inquired about my well being. I appreciate you all.
The Wordsmith is BACK!
And I got endless cliffhangers for you all. Hold onto your hats.

 

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Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated. 

Part 4 is out on Saturday

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